GE Crock Pot Cooker - Divided

You may think you don't need a BIG slow cooker, but you will be surprised at how nice it is to go bigger.

GE Crock Pot Cooker - original photoIf you've ever tried to cram a turkey breast or a pork loin in a standard slow cooker, you will know that the 4-quart does not hold larger cuts of meat. You may get lucky and find a really tiny breast, but it's a real gamble.

After cooking for crowds a couple of times and using two crock pots, I decided to spring for a large one. There were only a few choices in 6-quart. All ran in the $35 to $40 price range.

One had a timer, which I don't really need. The beauty of slow cooking is that you just dump stuff in and then eat later in the day when you're ready. This is not a time sensitive science.

Another had a range of temperatures. Now, that is nice. I have that on one of my smaller slow cookers. I like seeing the numbers and setting at various temperatures.

GE Crock Pot Cooker - original photoThe big one that caught my eye was the GE 6-quart with dividers. On camping trips, I sometimes take the crock pot and do a full meal while we are sightseeing. I had been using those cooking baggies to do that and keep items separate. This divided cooker is much easier. I decided to get it.

The GE divided oval cooker has the standard crock inside the heating cover, so you can use this as a large slow cooker too. The crock does lift out for cleaning which is a real must. The old ones that had to be tipped and cleaned with the cord attached were a real mess.

To divide, you slip in two very lightweight metal pieces. There is nothing to it. Nothing to line up. Just set them in side by side.

With the inserts, you do not have as much room due to an air cushion under and around each piece. But, each side piece is fairly spacey. I would guess about 2 1/2 quarts space in each side.

GE Crock Pot Cooker - original photoI like cooking two things at once for a more complete meal. You can cook roast in one side and the veggies in the other. If you cook them together in a slow cooker, the potatoes tend to discolor and soak up grease. This takes care of that problem.

You can also use the two sides to customize family dishes. If some like it hot and spicy and others mild on something like chili beans, then you can cook it all at once but have a hot and mild side. Same for spaghetti — with peppers, onions, and mushrooms and without. Really nice with kids.

A favorite at social get togethers is hot dips. Here, you can make two different ones. Bring a big bag of chips. You have a nice appetizer. My favorite is Velveeta cheese with cooked spicy sausage and Rotel tomatoes. Looks kind of yucky, but it's sure good.

Clean up is easy especially if you spray the pieces with a little Pam before using.

I love this slow cooker as a large crock or with the dividers. I liked it so much that I bought my brother the very same model for his birthday last month. He also says it's a great appliance. He's been using it for fondues, since that is popular in his retro neighborhood right now.

I would change the cover if I could. The bright white does not go with my beige kitchen, and I don't care much for flowers and leaves on my kitchen items. The companies seem to change patterns every year or two, so they will likely have another option out soon. I wish they would go with brown like one of my smaller models. That color is easier to keep looking clean and is pretty neutral in appearance.

The lid is also very lightweight. It tends to slide around or off when carried in the back of the SUV. I like the heavy glass on my older models, but this one works OK. It does seem to collect a little more water than the heavy glass.

-- C. Allison